Evotec AG and APEIRON Biologics AG announced that the companies received the first milestone payment from Sanofi under a 3-party alliance signed in August 2015. The milestone payment of EUR 3 m will be split equally between the two biotech companies. The success payment was triggered when the partners successfully advanced an undisclosed, novel immuno-oncology small molecule into late-stage pre-clinical development. Under the alliance, the three companies work together to identify small molecule leads and targets for next-generation therapies in immuno-oncology, which may complement the pre-clinical and clinical profiles of leading checkpoint inhibitors.
Dr Cord Dohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Evotec, commented: "The Evotec and APEIRON teams are proud to have achieved our first milestone with Sanofi to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology small molecules therapies. It is a first-in-class approach with tremendous potential in combination with marketed checkpoint inhibitors but also as standalone therapy. The field of immuno-oncology will continue to evolve and at Evotec we will continue to invest in this area."
Dr Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of APEIRON Biologics, said: "We are delighted by the progress made in our collaboration with Evotec and Sanofi. Based on our scientific findings and the mode of action, we jointly agreed to accelerate the research and pre-clinical development of this very promising molecule. The successful achievement of this milestone further demonstrates our abilities to drive innovation in the field of immuno-oncology."